The Community Fund is an evolution of The Covid Fund which was set up as an emergency response to local groups disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. During this period our wonderful customers raised a whopping £15,000, just by adding £3 to their order. Due to its overwhelming success, this has now been made a permanent fundraising initiative. The new fund will continue to support the same people who The Covid Fund supported, but enable us to plan and attend to their needs longer term, providing valuable access to food and wellbeing programmes.
Our unique position in a local network of socially-minded organisations means that we were able to provide our customers and friends with the option of supporting local, trusted and valuable initiatives in a way that was simple and safe and aligned with our shared values.
What the money was spent on during the pandemic:
- Two Trees Catering: Providing nutritious meals to people shielding during lockdown
- Earthwise: Delivering kits to help children reliant on food banks to access the outdoors
- EcoWild: Delivering mindfulness kits for adults during lockdown
- Incredible Edible: Providing money towards polytunnel repairs for a small, local farm, so that they could keep feeding Bristol
- Groundwork South’s IMPACT project and EcoWild: Building a lasting partnership between Groundwork South, EcoWild and The Community Farm to deliver programmes of work for Bristol-based refugees and non-EU migrants who want to understand farming and rural British life better and share their own knowledge, experience and skills.
- EcoWild: Providing seed funding for a local Pakistani women's group to The Farm to spend time together and in nature, share familiar food, and learn about what grows here and the methods we use
- Borderlands: Providing food to a drop-in centre for refugees, asylum seekers and those with insecure immigration status facing poverty and hardship
- Aid Box Community Activity Groups: Facilitating a series of days on the land for Bristol-based refugees and asylum seekers, many of whom manage on less than £6 per day and have been extremely isolated during Covid, the opportunity to get out of the city, explore their new homes, share skills and experiences, learn about food and farming and spend time together getting to know more of the UK and its heritage
- Coexist Community Kitchen: provided produce towards their community cookery classes for people accessing support services and 150 food boxes for local people struggling with food access
- The Farm’s Wellbeing programmes, Grow and Make and Wild Steps have provided spaces to 13 people on their courses, which are designed to provide respite to those facing mental health challenges
Our work with Aid Box Community and IMPACT have gone on to become long lasting partnerships, building on the experiences The Covid Fund enabled. Thanks to these pilot projects, we have secured significant further funding for these new partnerships to establish over the next two years. Given what some of the participants have been through, these projects were a powerful moment of respite in deeply disrupted lives.
There is still an enormous need in our community to nurture relationships with the land, farming and wildlife; and to help people access fresh, nutritious food. The Community Fund will focus on providing valuable access to the land and to food for underrepresented and disadvantaged local groups by working in partnership with a network of local organisations.
Customers can choose to make a one-off or regular donation via the website. We will keep all customers updated with how the money is being spent on our website and via our newsletter.